Makeup splurges for better or worse

What constitutes a makeup splurge? Is it money? Is it the lack of resistance? Is it weakness? I say it all depends on the situation. A splurge can be something that’s $5 or something that’s $100. It’s all what you believe you want rather than just need. Today I’m featuring 7 products that I feel I splurged on. Some are worth every cent, some are regrets. Please check out my choices to see if you agree.  —  Marcia

NATASHA DENONA EYESHADOW PALETTE 10 ($95)

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 10

This is my most expensive splurge and one I’m on the fence about. $95 is a lot to spend on a palette but it does have 10 gorgeous shades that are outside of my comfort zone to some degree. The shades are #56p Pearl (champagne toned shimmer), #06p Anthrazit (charcoal black with a subtle silver shimmer), #47p Dark Sepia (dark chocolate brown with a slight gold shimmer), #02m Blue Space (rich royal blue with a shimmer finish), #27m Slate (vivid purple shimmer), #19m Deep Teal (intense teal shimmer), #25m Aura (cream white with a gold iridescent finish), #13m Raw Gold (deep gold with a bronze undertone), #87m Light Coral (peach shadow with a subtle gold shimmer), #07m Graphite (dark grey with silver shimmer).

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 10

As you can see these are all shimmer shades but the extent of the shimmer is unique to each shade. It’s really not the most practical palette because of all the shimmer. The problem for me isn’t the cost though but the quality of the shades isn’t uniform. Some apply easily while others want to fight with me.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE?  Depends, it got me over my Natasha Denona craving and I didn’t buy the more expensive palettes. I like this but I can’t say I love it. (Swatches from Sephora, mine don’t look like this though)

PRETTY VULGAR NIGHTINGALE EYESHADOW PALETTE ($35)

After falling in love with Pretty Vulgar Early Bird Eyeshadow palette I was anxious for more. But I’m a pretty staid individual colorwise so I went with the tried and true. Considering I have 357962 nude and brown palettes did I need this? That’s why it’s a splurge, I don’t need it.

Pretty Vulgar Nightingale Eyeshadow Palette

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? I’m the wishy washy queen right now because I haven’t decided. I’ve had it for a few weeks and haven’t touched it. Some of the Early Bird shadows are disappointing and I’m worried that I’ll find that here too. What to do?

Pretty Vulgar Nightingale Eyeshadow Palette

DIOR METALIZER – METAL CREME SHADOW ($25)

Once I saw the Dior Metalizers reviewed I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Metallics are hot for fall and I’ve always loved metallics in accessories and cosmetics. I chose Bronze Tension – mistake! It’s too dark and doesn’t blend well on me.

Dior Metalizer Cream Shadow in Bronze Tension

I want to like this so badly that I can taste it. I love to start with a cream shadow and use it as a base or to highlight powders. But I picked the wrong shade. I don’t see any metallic on my eyes with this very dark shade. (inject crying emoji here)

Dior Metalizer Cream Shadow in Bronze Tension

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? Obviously not which saddens me.

STILA HUGE EXTREME LASH MASCARA ($23)

There’s a story behind buying this mascara. I received a sample size in one of my subscriptions and put it aside for a while. When cleaning to move I find it and tried it. I totally fell in love with it. Wearing Stila Huge was like being granted false eyelashes. You know I couldn’t wait to buy this in spite of having umpteen unopened mascaras.

Stila Huge Extreme Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Mascara

Well … the tube I bought is a dud. Some days my lashes look totally amazing, other days they are a mushy mess. I’ve determined that the problem is that the opening for the wand is too large which makes too much mascara coming out. There’s none of that satisfying sound you hear when opening a tube. Even cleaning it off doesn’t guarantee that I’ll love my lashes that day.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? With mascara you just never know what you’re going to get. One tube can make angels sing, the next tube can make them cry. This makes my lashes cry 50% of the time.

ARTIS PALM BRUSH ($65)

The Artis Palm Brush is absolutely incredible. My words can not describe how much I love this brush and the Artis Oval 10 brush. Yes expensive, yes worth every cent to me. Here’s a description that explains the Palm Brush: “A brush with a generously sized, rounded oval of fibers to provide coverage to a larger areas of the face and body. It features more than 250,000 fibers. Artis brushes are made exclusively with CosmeFibre, a revolutionary engineered fiber made for applying cosmetic and makeup products.”

Artis Palm Brush

I use this and the Oval 10 for liquid foundation since I can’t believe the softness of the brushes and the airbrushed application.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? Without a doubt. Even though I have the Oval 10 which is the same except that the Palm brush doesn’t have a handle, I wanted this and caved. Happy happy.

TARTE SHAPE TAPE aka DOUBLE DUTY BEAUTY SHAPE TAPE CONTOUR CONCEALER ($25)

So I found myself in Ulta without a plan to buy anything and I came across the infamous Tarte Shape Tape. When Shape Tape first came out you couldn’t find it anywhere not even Tarte’s website. That made the hunt more real. The last thing I needed was another concealer.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair Beige

This very fat tube and very fat wand are quite interesting. I’ve always liked the concealers that Tarte makes and this one intrigued me. There are 14 shades to choose from and several that are light enough for me. After much deliberation I chose Fair Beige which I now see is for fair skin with pink undertones. The color choice was right.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair Beige

Ulta explains how to use this as a contour and as a concealer. I mainly use it under my eyes. I rarely start a day with concealer but I do add it if I’m going somewhere later in the day or evening. “Powered by Amazonian clay and conditioning mango seed and shea butters, the nutrient-rich concealer helps promote skin elasticity and illumination with each crease-free application.”

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? At first I didn’t think so but it’s really grown on me. I have a ton of concealers and wondered why I bought another, but I’m glad I did. It doesn’t crease under my eyes and does a good job of covering everything up.

KJAER WEIS CREAM BLUSH – BLOSSOMING ($56)

Now this was a true splurge. I actually had no intention of buying this and then suddenly it was in my cart and on my CC. Hmm. I did no research into this other than knowing that Kjaer Weis was a luxury brand and that the reviews were amazing. But it’s a cream blush and I’m a nut for cream blush.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush

The first thing to know is that this is the heaviest cosmetic I own. It could be used as a weapon. The metal compact is beautiful on my vanity and slides open to display the creamiest of all cream blushes.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming

Blossoming is a beautiful light peachy pink shade that is subtle yet shows up perfectly on my fair skin. I’m totally in love with this color.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming

Kjaer Weiss blush is – Certified organic – Formulated with Rose Rubiginosa Seed Oil to fight signs of aging – Free from gluten, petroleum, parabens, artificial coloring and fragrance. This comes in 5 shades that all look totally amazing to me. Lovely is on my list for the next time I “need” to splurge.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming

This isn’t a cream to powder but it’s not sticky. I apply a light amount of setting powder to my cheeks first and then use my finger to blend the cream on. It melts onto my finger and applies like buttah! It’s infused with Castor Seed and Jojoba Oils to help strengthen and nourish the skin and has a Beeswax base that’s well-suited to all complexions.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? Yes yes and yes again. I love it and when I can afford it I’ll purchase another.

Makeup Splurges

Affiliate disclosure

What’s the verdict on my makeup splurges? Would you buy any of these yourself? Do you have any of these? I’d love for you to share.  —  Marcia

Don’t forget to see what my friends have splurged on.


Makeup Wars perks up your eyes

MAKEUP WARS is all about eyes today, expanding from the typical to the somewhat atypical. Ways to perk up your eye makeup can be as simple or bold as wearing a colorful mascara as well as changing up your eyeliner from your typical black or dark brown. I’ve chosen my favorite colorful eyeliners to share with you since a day without eyeliner for me is a day my eyes disappear.

STILA GOT INKED CUSHION EYE LINER is my new favorite eyeliner. Yes I do play favorites and right now the play is with these very cool cushion eye liners. This is a liquid eyeliner unlike any you’ve used. It comes in a pot with the liquid under a cushion top. Use your favorite brush (I prefer a very thin one) and press it onto the webbed sponge top and you’ve got your color. Stila compares it to using a calligraphy pen that you dip into the sponge. These don’t seem like they’ll spill. I first bought it in Smoky Quartz Ink and after using it twice I knew I needed another so along came Copper Ink. Both are within my comfort zone but on the edge of it. You can go thick or thin, you can draw cat eyes, you can do anything your heart desires and the color will last. It comes in 6 shades (Black Obsidian, Amethyst, Blue Sapphire, Garnet plus Smoky Quartz and Copper).

Stila Got Inked Cushion Eye Liners

Stila Got Inked Cushion Eye Liners

Smoky Quartz Ink is a pewter taupe that is metallic and will take on the colors of your eye makeup depending on the light. While there’s no glitter in it, it looks that way because of the high shine. When I wear this with a gold and khaki combination it seems to pick up that khaki undertone. Copper Ink isn’t quite as metallic but it’s far from flat. It’s stunning with a variety of browns but when it really looks unique is wearing it with eyeshadow in the navy family. Copper Ink is making me shop my stash for new looks.

Stila Got Inked Cushion Eye Liners - top Smoky Quartz In, bottom Copper Ink

Stila Got Inked Cushion Eye Liners – top Smoky Quartz In, bottom Copper Ink

I’m a huge fan of liquid eyeliners but they are not all created equal. The length and sturdiness of the brush are the keys for me finding the ones I love. While I don’t wear pencil eyeliners that often I’ve found that Pur Minerals (now Pur Cosmetics) has a combination that has the best of both worlds. DOUBLE EGO EYELINERS are liquid on one end and pencil on the other end. Use separately or combine for great looks.

Pur Minerals Double Ego liners

Pur Minerals Double Ego liners

Look at those colors! Milan (inky black), Tasmania (dark chocolate), Madagascar (black gold), Bora Bora (royal blue), Swiss Alps (cool pewter), Rio de Janeiro (deep plum), Bali (emerald green), and Queensland (aquatic teal). While I mostly wear Tasmania I’ve been known to wear Swiss Alps (pewter) and Rio de Janiero (plum) to shake it up a bit. These are amazing eyeliners.

Last but far from least on my list are the YOUNGBLOOD EYE-MAZING LIQUID EYELINER PENS. These are available in 5 shades that are beautiful and go beyond black. The brush is what makes these so wonderful. For me they glide on and last, rarely going astray. I’ve bought backups of Marron since it’s an amazing brown eyeliner. Gris (soft grey) and Verde (dark forest green) are unique to my eyeliner collection.

Eye-Mazing Liquid Liner Pens from http://www.ybskin.com/

Eye-Mazing Liquid Liner Pens from http://www.ybskin.com/

Youngblood Liquid Liner in Azul, Gris, Noir, Verde and Marron

Youngblood Liquid Liner in Azul, Gris, Noir, Verde and Marron

What are your favorite eyeliners? As you can tell I’m obsessed with liquid eyeliners and love having this variety on hand. — Marcia


Think Pink with Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush

Think pink

Think pink

The hardest thing about Stila’s Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush is picking a color you want to buy. Everything else is super easy since it’s a cinch to use and wear.

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily

There are 5 shades available and the online swatches all looked beautiful so I took a stab in the dark and picked Water Lily since it looked fresh and vibrant.

Stila Water Lily Aqua Blush (beauty.com)

Stila Water Lily Aqua Blush (beauty.com)

This Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush is totally different than any blush product I own because it really is watery. The formula says it’s a water based gel but I find it more watery than gel-like. It’s packaged in a small jar with a mesh top. You need to shake it very well and then be careful with the amount of product you use.

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush mesh top

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush mesh top

It feels like nothing when you apply it yet you will feel a slight cooling effect. This is a sheer blush that you can build up but my advice is to start with a very small amount, dab it on your cheek where you typically use blush. Then do the other cheek. Now stand back and check your face. If it’s not enough then go back and build it up but not too much.

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily

Water Lily is a warm pink shade (although beauty.com calls it a rose pink) that goes on sheer but lasts well throughout the day. I’d say I get about 6 – 8 hours wear before needing to refresh it. It’s a great blush if you have “Disappearing Blush Problem” aka DBP. People who are affected by DBP find their blush vanishes easily. But using this Stila Aqua Glow as a base and then following up with a powder is the answer to longer lasting blush. While this is not a medically proven problem, it really does happen to too many people. I’m working on a foundation to study this phenomenon (not).

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily

I’m not sure if I’ll buy another shade of this or not but I am attracted to the coolness of Water Blossom described as Pink Violet.

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush  in Water Blossom (beauty.com)

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Blossom (beauty.com)

What’s your vote? Should I think pink and buy this $26 Stila Water Blossom?? — Marcia

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Mica, Silica, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Sorbitan Isostearate, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, May Contain (+/-):, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 7791), Carmine (CI 75470)